6 user 3 critic

Documenteur (1981)

A young French woman, separated from her lover, tries to find a lodging in L.A. for herself and her son.


Agnès Varda


Agnès Varda
1 nomination. See more awards »


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More Like This 

Mur murs (1981)
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Agnes Varda's documentary on murals in Los Angeles.

Director: Agnès Varda
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Three actors in Hollywood live and love together. A director comes from New York to make a movie about actors and Hollywood.

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Portraits of the people that occupy the small shops of the Rue Daguerre, Paris, where the filmmaker lived.

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While in San Francisco for the promotion of her last film in October 1967, Agnès Varda, tipped by her friend Tom Luddy, gets to know a relative she had never heard of before, Jean Varda, ... See full summary »

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A short film of interviews and protests at a rally to free Huey Newton.

Director: Agnès Varda
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In tribute to her late husband, the wife of the respected French director honors his life and artistic works by highlighting his vision in clips and interviews.

Director: Agnès Varda
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Biography | Fantasy
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"I'll look at you, but not at the camera. It could be a trap," whispers Jane Birkin shyly into Agnès Varda's ear at the start of JANE B. PAR AGNES V. The director of CLEO FROM 5 TO 7 and ... See full summary »

Director: Agnès Varda
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Mary-Jane asks, "Do all women fall in love with a boy, or just those without sons?" She's divorced with two daughters, Lucy and Loulou. Lucy has a party where Mary-Jane notices Julien, 14, ... See full summary »

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There are two parts to this film: sequences of life in the fishing village of La Pointe Courte (a government inspector's visit, the death of a child) alternate with others following a ... See full summary »

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Impressions of the rue Mouffetard, Paris 5, through the eyes of a pregnant woman.

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Le Bonheur (1965)
Drama | Romance
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François, a young carpenter, lives a happy, uncomplicated life with his wife Thérèse and their two small children. One day he meets Emilie, a clerk in the local post office.

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Jean-Claude Drouot, Marie-France Boyer, Marcelle Faure-Bertin
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A recital becomes part of the French culture; 25 years later the performers return to the village where it was first launched.

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Agnès Varda, Michel Legrand


Cast overview:
Sabine Mamou Sabine Mamou ... Emilie Cooper
Mathieu Demy ... Martin Cooper
Lisa Blok-Linson Lisa Blok-Linson ... Lisa, l'amie (as Lisa Blok)
Tina Odom Tina Odom ... Tina, la serveuse
Gary Feldman Gary Feldman ... L'écrivain à sa fenêtre
Tom Taplin ... Tom Cooper
Fred Ricker Fred Ricker ... Le couple du motel
Kelly Ricker Kelly Ricker ... Le couple du motel
Charles Southwood ... L'homme au water bed
Chris Leplus Chris Leplus ... Le producteur de l'autre film
Barry Farrell Barry Farrell ... Un homme de l'autre film
Andrew Meyer Andrew Meyer ... Un homme de l'autre film
Delphine Seyrig ... Delphine (voice)
Gerald Ayres ... Récitante (voice) (as Gérard Ayres)
Joan Torres Joan Torres ... Récitante (voice)


A young French woman, separated from her lover, tries to find a lodging in L.A. for herself and her son.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






France | USA


English | French

Release Date:

20 January 1982 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Documenteur: An Emotion Picture See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ciné Tamaris See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The couple fighting about rent were not actors and happened to be arguing while the film was being shot. Director Agnès Varda asked if her camera bothered them and neither one minded and continued to argue through the filming. See more »


References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

18 September 2017 | by treywillwestSee all my reviews

This is a review of two separate, yet intimately connected films by Agnes Varda, Mur Murs and Documenteur. If viewed independently of each other the films are interesting but not quite remarkable. But taken as a two sided whole, I find the film(s) as impressive as anything I've seen by Varda, which is saying a lot. Varda found herself living in LA with her young son during a period in which she was separated from her husband, contemplating divorce. Mur Murs is a fairly traditionally presented, if visually arresting, documentary tour of Los Angeles by way of the city's murals. Varda dissects the ways that marginalized communities of color, in particular, have used public art to document their culture and struggles. The filmmaker seems to find the city both strange and comforting. As much as Los Angeles is a huge, international city, it also seems a world where everyone is compartmentalized away from each other. The loneliness of the metropolis seems to compliment Varda's mood. Documenteur is a short "narrative" film that is nakedly autobiographical- a French writer finds herself in self-imposed exile in Los Angeles with her young son (played by Varda's actual son) after separating from her husband. The English translation of the title is Emotion Picture, and indeed, the film has the intimacy of a diary entry. Documenteur interpolates the faces and locations discovered in Mur Murs into Varda's personal experience. Her stand-in is played by the woman who interviews artists and passers-by in the earlier documentary and many of its buildings and murals serve as settings for the "fiction film." Viewed as a single, two part work, the films are a powerfully Proustian experience. In some sense, I would go so far as to say that Varda one ups Proust. Whereas the French writer investigates only the ways in which sensory experience and memory shape each other and result in the consciousness of the European bourgeois, the French filmmaker also takes into consideration the ways that landscapes, those objects that inspire sensory experience, are themselves shaped by power and resistance.

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